Today is a German national holiday, the German unity day. As an American, listening to the German national anthem, you might think to yourself “FUCKING NAZIS,” but as a German I’m pretty proud right now.
No, I’m not. I honestly couldn’t care less. But I might aswell use this holiday as an excuse to post about German metal.
So, without further ado, make the jump to listen to some quality metal.
I’ve been playing guitar for over 10 years, and frankly, it wasn’t easy getting started. I had a lot of misconceptions about guitar playing and about why I would want to play guitar in the first place, some of which turned into disappointments. It took me a while to understand it all, and hopefully you’ll be able to learn a thing or two from my ups and downs.
There are many great sites and videos about the technical side of playing guitar, but very few focus on the attitude and mentality you should have about starting to play an instrument. I’m gonna try to leave all the music stuff to the teachers and the pros, and just focus on what goes on inside your head, not on what your hands are supposed to do.
Most of these things apply to any other instruments as well, but I play guitar and figured I’d write this article around my own experience, making it a bit more personal and not just generic.
I am not a professional guitarist, by the way, so keep that in mind while reading this article, and take it for what it is — just some guy’s opinion.
The tips start after the jump!
Always suspected John of being a robot from another planet, this video just proves my theory. Here’s Satriani’s skills being stolen by John while playing live…
I’m not gonna pretend I know the ins and outs of the music industry, just because I run a metal blog. I don’t, but considering how hard the industry has fallen, it appears I’m not the only one.
But even though I may not be ‘in the know’ completely, in two years writing for this site, I have interacted with many PR people, and a lot of them have been helpful and polite, but a few of them have been downright unprofessional, and they were representing bigger bands. And I can’t help but wonder if musicians themselves know about it.
I actually prefer talking to musicians directly, two of my best interviews came from direct contact between myself and the musicians in question. Mainly because some press agents are simply not doing their job.
Now, I know, we’re not MetalSucks, maybe when you do run a big blog like that, things change. But in my opinion, professionalism is not about the size of the companies you work with, it’s about treating everyone with the same kind of respect, regardless of what they can do for you. I’ve been contacted by a bunch of shady companies offering us money for non-metal links and ads, or other similar stuff, and I never felt above answering with a very polite and mannered ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’ Which brings me to:
Advice #1: Reply to your email inquiries.
Even if you want to say no, say no. Don’t just leave the email hanging. Whenever I don’t get a reply, I start wondering if the person forgot, or never got the email, or got it in the spam folder. So I’m inclined to send it again after a while. Why not answer back and give a ‘no’? I’m a big boy.
Advice #2: Keep your promises
Without giving any agency or band name away, let me tell you a small story. In our months of running this site, we wanted to interview a band we liked. The band is big enough to matter, but not ‘Metallica big,’ so we figured we had a shot, regardless of our being pretty much at the beginning of our journalistic journey.
We got in contact with their press agent, who seemed enthusiastic about it, and even told us which band member we were gonna interview. We put together a pretty great email interview for him, and then the PR lady kept postponing.
“Next month, right now they’re on tour.”
“Wait, after the holidays, late January at the latest”
“In a month or two”
Then she stopped responding altogether. Now, was that really professional, considering the band she’s representing has been around since the 80s and is pretty respected? Do the musicians know which people represent their interest? Which leads me to my third and final advice:
Advice #3: Start doing some of the grunt work yourselves
Gone are the days when musicians were these delicate flowers, with teams of people working for them, and no way of communicating with the fans. It’s 2012, labels go bankrupt, bands earn way less, and fans expect direct interaction. There is no reason for a musician not to try and handle a few things himself/herself.
This is because I am convinced musicians don’t know how many missed opportunities for decent interviews and exposure might be missed by unanswered emails or promises that never come true. And they pay these people. Giving an interview requires little time, and little to no effort, they’re worth it. Doesn’t matter if it’s Rolling Stone or just some site out there. Why not get it out there?
I am not bitching or anything. I really do this for fun so I don’t care too much about about the business side of things. Plus I realize we make fun of a lot of bands, which might turn off some people. But I really do expect professionalism from the people representing signed bands that have been out for a while, and I’m not seeing it as often as I should. Does this affect the artist himself? I don’t know, but it definitely doesn’t help.
Now that Steven is out of American Idol, you’d think they’d be over it within the band, and would just focus on the music… Right? Wrong. Just watch the video above (at around 1:40).
If you think about it, most bands break up because of the tension between certain band members. Usually between the singer and the guitar player. I’m guessing that happens because no matter what, the singer will always be the most important member of the band in people’s eyes, so he will develop an ego and think he’s bigger than the band itself. Also, the guitarist always gets a lot of attention too, enough to get him an ego, but not as much as the singer, making him jealous and insecure.
As a misanthropic piece of shit myself, I can definitely understand calling it quits when you’re forced to work with people you dislike. At one point, no money, fame, or critical acclaim can make you stand certain assholes any longer, especially ones that act like little divas. So I’m not above hating someone, I definitely understand it. But at least be manly about it.
Get into a fist fight, challenge each other to gun duels, don’t just go running to the press to talk shit about the other guy. That’s what girls do, man. Just be a man and hate your band member and former friend like a man.
Now back to Aerosmith, it is pretty obvious that these guys cannot stand each other, but somehow they made it work. Which would be respectable, I guess, if they didn’t act like gossipy little brats. Not only do they dress and fight like chicks, but they both talk like they came straight out of “Mean Girls.”
- Like, I was totally like, feeling that American Idol gig and certain people were jealous of me
- Nuh-uh, girl, speak for yourself, I wasn’t jealous at all.
Grow up, guys. You’re older than the American dollar, time to stop these petty catfights in the press.
Maybe you’ve heard of the Kim Kardashian charity scandal (hardly a scandal, but suitable as an example) earlier this year. If you haven’t, and if you’re too lazy to check the link above, let me break it down to you. Kim Kardashian has sold some of her clothes via Ebay, under the banner “Charity Auction Supporting the Dream Foundation.” In the end only 10% were actually donated and she has kept the rest to herself.
What does this have to do with metal, and especially with Chuck Schuldiner (pictured above)? Well, we might think that something like that couldn’t happen in our perfect metal world. After all, metal musicians seem less money hungry than women who’re only famous for getting fucked by some R’n'B singer. But we’re wrong to assume that.
Beth Schuldiner, Chuck Schuldiner’s sister, has now spoken about the Sick Drummer Magazine/Death To All Tour debacle. Again, to break it down for you, Sick Drummer Magazine has helped organize the Death To All/Chuck Schuldiner tribute tour earlier this year. The earnings of said tour were partly supposed to go to the Sweet Relief charity, which had also helped Chuck when he was dying from cancer. Now Death’s management has claimed that the owners of Sick Drummer Magazine has not paid musicians, charity, booking agents, crews or Death’s management, Perseverance Holdings Ltd., despite the tour being a success.
Those are some very strong accusations and to further fuel the fire, Beth Schuldiner has now spoken out about it, and you can read that after the jump.
I’m not going to pick sides myself, because I hardly know all of the details of this story, but I’d like to point out how incredibly weak it is to make thousands of dollars in the name of charity, and then not even give 1% to that charity. Even Kim Kardashian knew better.
If you love half naked chicks, dildos, ejaculation, the German language, metal, fire, rain, festivals, shit food and live in the UK, you’re in luck, Rammstein have been announced as the second headliner of the 2013 Download festival at the legendary Donington park.
As well as the above date, the band have officially announced the rest of their European festival dates for next summer. Check out the dates and venues below:
01 June Nijmegen, NET – FortaRock XL
04 June Warschau, POL – Impact
08 June Samara, RUS – Rock On Volga
13 June Interlaken, SWI – Greenfield Festival
14 June Nickelsdorg, AUT – Nova Rock
16 June Donington Park, UK – Download Festival
21-23 June Scheessel, GER – Hurricane
21-23 June Neuhausen, GER – Southside
06 July Werchter, BEL – Rock Werchter
01 August Wacken, GER – Wacken Open Air
In case you missed yesterday’s big news (where were you?), the mighty Maiden have announced they will be returning to Europe in 2013 to play a number of stadiums, arenas and festivals around the continent. The first date to be announced is at the UK’s Download Festival on Saturday June 15th, when Iron Maiden will return to the hallowed Donington Park to headline for a fifth time! (following 1988,1992, 2003 & 2007).
You can read more about it over at the official Iron Maiden site here.
Image credit: ironmaiden.com
The Big Four is a subject dear to our hearts here at Dose of Metal. Why? Because all of us respect all four bands a lot, and all of us love at least two of them to death. So whenever we get the chance to talk about them, we do.
Before this website (and therefore, before The Big Four concerts happened), Guido and I wanted to start a Big Four fansite. Our goal was to just get fans together and stop arguing about which band is better, and just treat all four bands with the respect they deserve.
That didn’t happen, and instead we got this shitty metal blog running. However, I still kinda feel defensive about this subject, so here goes:
One of the biggest debates that was going on before the concerts and the DVD , was which bands should really be part of ‘The Big Four.’ Some argued that Metallica shouldn’t be there, since they haven’t been thrash metal for decades. Others wanted Exodus, Testament or Overkill in there. I could never understand why.The term was not up for debate, it wasn’t a chart or a top, it was just a monicker.
The Big Four is just a nickname, it is not supposed to be a factually accurate thesis on thrash metal. It’s a nickname given to four specific bands, period. If you want other thrash metal bands to be part of a celebration of thrash metal, that’s understandable, but call it something else. Call it, I don’t know, “Thrash Metal Celebration.” Do not call it The Big Four, because that name is about four bands, and four bands only.
Even though diehard thrash metalheads still debate the term from time to time, most people just accept the fact that it is what it is, now that there is a DVD out and everything. However, this interview with Scott Ian just made me remember all those useless arguments all over again.
Interviewer: I was wondering whether he thought there were any other bands that should have been considered for that title. Like, should it maybe have been the Big Five instead?
Scott Ian: The only other band really that it would make sense [to include] as far as American thrash-metal would be Exodus, because they were there right at the beginning as well. Their first album came out right at the same time as the rest of us. So I mean, to me, yes — if you were gonna add a fifth band, certainly I would think Exodus would be able to fill that slot very easily.
Scott is not responsible for this, he just gave a hypothetical answer to a very hypothetical question. It’s clearly the interviewer who just happens to wonder what band would be good for “The Big Five.” But what is that? The term doesn’t exist. No one ever thought of that nickname. The nickname and the number four came because of the four bands we all know, not the other way around. It makes no sense to add anyone else to the nickname.
I know there are probably big Exodus fans out there who are gonna call me an asshole and teach me a lesson about what Exodus did for thrash metal. But that’s not the point, I’m not denying their legacy, I’m just saying the nickname “The Big Four” does not necessarily have to be the most accurate description of the origins of thrash metal. It’s simply a nickname that stuck, and it involves certain bands, and there should not be a debate over this. It’s like saying “Wacko Jacko” should not refer to Michael Jackson, but to Jack the Ripper, cause he was way ‘wacker’ than MJ.
The Big Four is Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica. That’s it. There is no changing that. If you want to replace any of the bands with other thrash metal acts of the early 80s, you are entitled to do so, but it simply stops being ‘The Big Four.’ Just like operating on my testicles and removing both tumors would put an end to the ‘Big Four’ nickname I gave to my balls.
I heard Kerry King’s diet is also called The Big Four, because of the four supersized meals he gets at McDonald’s every day. It could just be a rumor I just made up though, so don’t take my word for it.
Source of the Scott Ian quote: Straight
Death Thrash is a strange genre. It mixes Death Metal and Thrash Metal (duh), two very popular genres, but somehow nobody gives a crap about it. Sure, The Haunted were successful enough, but which other Death Thrash band can you name?
A genre that mixes two successful genres should have produced some amazing bands, right? I mean, it even sounds good on paper. Mixing Thrash with Death Metal just makes too much sense. Except The Haunted, no band of that style really got off the ground, but it produced some rough diamonds.
The band that I’ve always associated with Death Thrash, even more so than The Haunted, is Hatesphere. Not necessarily because I rate them higher (even though I do), but because they were the first band that introduced me to the style. I’ve seen them open for Chimaira and Dark Tranquillity in 2005, and they easily blew both of the following bands away. Why? Jacob Bredahl.
Jacob “Dr. J” Bredahl (pictured above) used to front Hatesphere from 2001 until 2007. He’s probably the most charismatic frontman I’ve ever witnessed live, and he sings with an intensity unmatched. He just seems to put everything into his vocals. Everytime, on every song.
I’ve been following Bredahl’s work since then. Be it with Hatesphere, Allhelluja or, most recently, The Kandidate (formerly called The Downward Candidate).
The Kandidate has just released the follow-up to their debut album, Until We Are Outnumbered, earlier this year, called Facing the Imminent Prospect of Death on Napalm Records. While The Kandidate doesn’t have the same effect on me than Hatesphere has had, it’s a band that I’d like to see more successful. But there obviously isn’t a big market for Death Thrash, or is there?
Back to Hatesphere. After Bredahl, and everyone else in the band, was fired by guitarist Peter “Pepe” Lyse Hansen, the band welcomed a completely different line-up. This line-up produced the flop To The Nines in 2009. At that time, I’ve lost interest in the band completely.
After dropping even more bandmembers, they’ve finally found a worthy replacement for Jacob Bredahl in Esben “Esse” Elnegaard Kjaer Hansen. Worthy because he sounds just like Bredahl, which he proved on The Great Bludgeoning (released in 2011 on Napalm Records).
I’ve actually just found out about The Great Bludgeoning a couple of weeks ago, which proves to me that there isn’t just no market for Death Thrash, there’s also barely any coverage of the scene. The album does come close to earlier material, and picks the band up from the ground after the boring To The Nines.
So with The Kandidate and Hatesphere, there are at least two great Death Thrash bands out there, that need more attention. Even as someone who really likes three bands of the scene (including The Haunted), I can’t even name a fourth one. I could name a few that could come close to being labelled Death Thrash (Tenet, Necroid, Untimely Demise, Maze of Torment, etc.), but they all seem to lean more to one of the two genres, rather than combining both.
Does that mean that Death Thrash is dead? Or does it just mean that I’m not informed enough? Was Death Thrash ever really alive to begin with? Or were there just a few bands who gave their best playing the best of both worlds?
I could name a factor for the commercial failure of the genre, with Metalcore’s rise, a genre that comes close to Death Thrash but without the more extreme parts. Further dissecting the if’s and when’s would take too long though. I’ll just leave you with the latest music video by The Kandidate, and a song from Hatesphere’s new album after the jump. Enjoy what’s left.
Image credit: Lykke Nielsen